Motorbike jackets are essential for the safety conscious rider. They offer protection in the event of an accident and of course fare off whatever weather conditions you may come across, sun, wind or rain.
Motorbike jackets are most commonly (and traditionally) available in leather material, however more breathable advanced fabrics such as polymide which offer a lightweight alternative and they are more flexible in design, allowing padding to be added or removed as desired and protective pads in choice areas. This also makes cleaning easier.
Many riders have multiple jackets for different weather conditions and seasons of the year. In the winter thicker coats with lining in is preferred for warmth, and the summer months it is better to go for a more breathable lightweight option.
What Motorbike Jacket to Choose
Choosing the right motorbike jacket can be a time consuming process. You don't want to rush into it and find it is badly fitting or cheap feeling or even worse, have an accident and find you needed a jacket with armor in.
I'd always advise armor jackets as they are well designed and researched now, these companies know where motorcyclists land when they come off and have protected those areas accordingly. Don't be afraid to spend some money, like buying a helmet - get the best you can afford, how much are your torso and arms worth to you?
Be sure to measure yourself and check fitting sizes too. Clothing is extra important on motorbikes and if you get too small you will be uncomfortable and sweat more than necessary. If you get too large you will find it flapping in the wind, effecting your concentration and increasing aerodynamic drag (makes your bike slower!).
Both Leather and non-leather jackets are good choices, it is a matter of preference. Leather tends to look better for longer and is more easily wiped clean after a tour through the local fly population. It also doesn't fray, aged non-leather jackets tend to fray around the edges and look more tatty than their leather counterparts.
Non-leather jackets usually come with more options such as interior pockets and straps to tighten bits up that are flapping so they make up for their downfall in that way.
One consideration is also whether you will have a lining inside too (to use the jacket in summer and winter months). I have found although this is a good idea in theory, it can mean the jacket is too loose without the liner or too tight with it in - this is where those straps come in handy on the non-leather jackets.
Try not to pick a jacket with viewable zips everywhere, they are handy for quick access and a bit of security when riding, but they can interrupt during a accident, get ones with flaps over or open pockets - if you use a music player when riding considering buying a motorcycle radio kit.
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Looking for More?
Spending some time indoors? You can replicate the thrills of your motorbike by playing motorbike games available on PC and all current consoles.
Want a new bike to go with your jacket? What about a Harley Davidson Rocker - an awesome chopper style motorcycle with a 1.6 litre engine. If that is out of your budget, how does a $7k Harley Davidson sounds to you? - Check out the brilliant Harley Davidson 883.